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I haven’t posted on email in awhile, but it’s a favourite subject.

I’ve been wondering about those messages pertaining to how we should consider the environment before printing an email.

In fact, I’ve got several questions. If you can answer them, please do so in the comments:

  1. Does this now omnipresent blurb actually stop anyone from printing an email?
  2. Was it standard policy for workers at BP to include this blurb in the body of emails? Is it still?
  3. What about other companies? Airlines spew zillions of gallons of jet fuel into the air each day, do their employees ask me to not print emails so that the environment can be saved?
  4. Who prints emails? It seems so outmoded in this era of smartphones. Maybe cavemen did?
  5. Is this blurb the greatest example of sanctimonious behaviour ever? Did a Canadian come up with it? (we are, at our worst, perhaps the most sanctimonious gang on Earth)
  6. Does every Hollywood star and wannabe star include this message in their emails? I bet that wanker Adrien Grenier does. Seems like something Jane Fonda would definitely include in her missives.
  7. What’s next? Maybe they’ll plaster a message about how you should “Consider your liver before downing this ale” on beer bottles.

Thanks for enlightening me with your answers.

Have a great day!

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Amanda says:

    I have often wondered the same thing – “who prints emails?”

    Maybe the same type of person who requests read receipts? 😛

  • danny says:

    You knew I was going to chime in on this.

    Obviously, this is one of those “low-hanging fruit” type things that people do to make themselves feel like they are saving the environment. And really, a few lines in an email probably doesn’t make that much impact but I guess no harm, not foul.

    The biggest issue, I think, is asking why people need to print emails and I think that comes back to many of the problems I see with using email as a means of communication.

    1) People don’t know how to use it – they often dump a bunch of stuff in an email without thinking about being brief or organizing their info better

    2) People don’t know how to deal with it – I bet most people don’t have a system that works for them and is scalable as they get busier.

    3) People CAN’T deal with it – In most cases people just get too much email to ever possibly deal with it.

    4) The tools suck – let’s face it, there really isn’t any great tools or clients for managing inboxes that are widely used. I have used Xobni (yes, that’s inbox backwards) and some other plug ins for Outlook as well as Outlook itself but the integration across platforms and “screens” isn’t always the greatest. I suppose this is made harder by the different formats and user preferences but still…. most top of the line busy people have actual people controlling their inboxes to this day.

    I would suggest people include this on the button of their emails:

    Please read your email back and think again if you should have sent it in the first place.

    I read some posts a while back where somebody said they just erased their inbox when they returned from vacation under the assumption that anything important would come back to him. Good call.

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